Why Wind? T. Boone Pickens Speaks

wind turbines in texas photo

image: fieldsbh

Here at Treehugger we’ve been following pretty closely the progress of T. Boone Pickens’ development of what will be the world's largest wind farm, so there’s no need to go over the details other than to say it’s big: 4000 MW, 12 billion dollars big. What motivates a long-time oil man to turn his focus towards renewables?

Radio program Living On Earth recently recorded an interview with Pickens and here are some choice out takes—as much for the information as for gleaning a bit of the man’s character:Why Wind Power?

Well, I've been in the oil business for - got out of school in '51, as a geologist - I been in the business for, I dunno, what is that, 100 years? Seems like it, sometimes. And, uh, for a number of years I've watched the wind turbines develop—and I feel like it's time for it. I think that oil has peaked at 85 million barrels in the world. We've got to other forms of energy - wind, I think solar will be next, and I hope I'm still around to be in the solar deal.

It’s not often an oil man, current or former, mentions the dreaded words peak oil in public.

Will Wind Turbines Kill Birds?

You know, do you know how high these things are? The hub on the turbine is 280 feet up, and then the radius on the blade is another 120 feet. So you're 280 plus 120 - you're 400 feet up on this to the tip - you know, that's a 40 story building. It would have nothing to do with quail, quail don't fly that high. But we're not in flyways, where you have, you know, migration through this area, so you don't have that many birds. I think you kill more birds on the window at my ranch house, and they do fly into the window, and I bet you kill more birds on the windows of buildings and houses and all than you ever would off the blades on those windmills.

So how many birds die by flying into windows? Here's the answer: A Risk Management Perspective On Bird Mortality.

You can listen to or download the entire interview, where Pickens muses on topics as divergent as production tax credits for renewables to basketball on the Living on Earth website.

via :: Living On Earth.

TreeHugger on T. Boone Pickens' Plans and Texas Wind Power:
GE Can Take This To The Bank
Texas Hosting Bids For Offshore Wind Farm Leases
Big Money In Texas Wind Farm Power Boom
T. Boone Pickens Rides The Wind/a>

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